The PJ Tatler

Austin Provides Good Lesson for Gun Owners

The Austin Statesman reports that Austin’s taxing entities increased property taxes 38% over the past decade (2000-2010), with the average tax bill reaching $5,590 in 2010. Austin Community College led the way with a 184% increase (nearly tripled).

The Statesman claimed the reason ACC ran up the tab “was largely in response to a growing civic emphasis on educating the area’s workforce, particularly those who did not attend a four-year college or needed new skills to keep pace with a changing world.”

Only 5% of Austin Community College students graduate within six years (page 8). While the Statesman theory on educating those “who did not attend a four-year college” feels good, the truth is that Austin Community College’s performance is questionable, especially when previous research showed that the average community college graduated 20% of its students.

Austin Community College carries $726.4 Million in debt. Two years ago, its debt load was $444.6 Million. The college is 63% further in debt, yet increased its graduation rate only one percentage  point (they graduated 4% in 2008).

In DeShaney v. Winnebago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government entities aren’t required to provide the services that taxpayers must pay for. Austin Community College, via its legislative territorial grant, proves this truth once again.

The Statesman noted that while property taxes increased 38%, “the median income remained stagnant.”

In plain English, this means that while taxing authorities grew the government — creating more buildings, bureaucracies and government jobs — the real work force that pays for all this became poorer, since their discretionary income was consumed by more taxes.

This means that with all the feel-good but unproductive tax-and-spend, more Austin residents are faced with choosing between feeding their family or buying ammunition and practicing their shooting skills.

There’s more than one way to effect a gun ban. In America, taxation is the quickest.

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